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Estima or Elysion

March 6 2005 at 11:55 PM
Decha  (no login)

Looking to compare the 2. One is a Toyota and the other is Honda. One is with Hybrid technology and the other is V-Tec engine. I have seen both and like both. How wouldn one compare the 2 in term of fuel consumption and usefulness as city car with some occassion long field trips. There seems to be much talk about Hybrid in Thailand especially high gasoline price. Is Hybrid a better technology than V-Tec. Is Hybrid the engine of the future. Can someone do a brielf comparison for me.

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(Login Torpong)
Trading Zone

Hello Khun Decha..

March 7 2005, 7:35 AM 

I too have been studying the technology of the Toyota hybrid's (but in this case it was the Alphard Hybrid) versus the Honda Elysion. I have test drived both models, read about their technical specifications and have come up with the following conclusions:

Driving/engine characterisitcs:

The Totyota hybrid engine, a 2400 cc VVti + a battery motor to power the car at low speeds and automatically shifts to the gas engine on high speed demands. The shift in power source is not that noticeable but if you drive it compared to say the V-6 benzene engine model it seems very sluggish off the start.
I think the Hybrid would be ideal for city driving while the V-6 is preferrable for highway/upcountry cruising.

The Honda uses a 2400cc Vtec engine (same as in the Honda Accord) which I understand uses similar technology to Toyota's VVti, that is variable valve timing to inject fuel and optimum amounts depending upon demand (this is an oversimplified explanation I'm sure some others can better explain).
In real life the feeling I got from driving the Honda Elysion is that its rather sluggish off the line with a slight edge over the Toyota hybrid but not by much, so the hybrid technology should be commended here.
Now if you were to compare it to the power of the V-6 3000 cc engine of the Toyota Alphard you would not want to drive both the Hybrid or the Elysion.
The Toyota engines (like their Lexus division) are just so smooth and quiet while running that I have mistakenly restarted them many times thinking I had failed to start them after the first startup)


The Toyota(both Alphard and Estima) have a 2+2+3 layout with easier access in and out when compared to the 2+3+3 layout of the Elysion but you can of course seat more in the Elysion.
The headroom is about the same for the Elysion and Estima but the Elysion is longer (its about as long as the Alphard, but the Elysion appears deceptively smaller than the Alphard because of its lower profile).
The Honda uses better looking and feeling plastics than the Toyota with the Elysion appearing more high tech with its great looking halo-effect speedometer, but in real life the simple illuminated dials are easier to read.
The Alphard's interior is a whole different story because it is really spacious due to its 1.96m roofline compared to the Elysion's 1.79m. All three models have powered doors, but the Alphard is the only one with powered curtains, and power tailgate. You can order the power tailgate as an option for the Honda.
Both models of Toyota come with parking sensors front and back while the Honda has a rear CCD camera for viewing while backing up, this takes a while to get use to and in my opinion has limited use, more of a fancy high tech thing.

All in all I liked the designs of the front end of the Alphard and Estima more than the Honda, but I liked the Honda's sleek tailight design. The Alphard has a very grand looking front grille and headlights, while the Elysion may seem a little odd at first with the V-shaped grille. The Honda has a much sportier looking profile. My wife and kids voted for the Alphard while I had my sights set on the Elysion as its specifications seemed more high-tech and up to date with the 5 speed automatic versus the 4 speed for both Toyota's, but after driving all of them, the Alphard had the most comfortable ride (it had 3 suspension settings at sport, intermediate, and comfort which really worked!)
The Elysion's ride was more sport-like, great on cornering, but not very comfortable. The Estima ride was sort of in between the two.
You may have been able to guess which car I bought and I don't want to influence your decision but thought my observations may be of some help. Best wishes on your car hunting and do let us know what you decide!

Kind regards,


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(Login decha)

Many thanks, Khun Torpong

March 7 2005, 6:13 PM 

My dad is driving the Alphard 3.0, though its a very nice car I think its too big for me. With Alphard, its best with a driver kind of guy. That is why I opt for the estima or elysion. Your review is straight to the point. Estima, I find it useful with the Hybrid but the interior is a little less impressive compare to Honda. While Honda has many high looks. which some are useless in Bangkok such as the map navigator or camera view on the reverse gear. But it does have a leather seats and too me feel me comfortable than cloth seat in Toyota. So in conclusion if you throw away the hybrid techology out I would go for Honda. But I am considering the Harrier or Lexus RX300 as well. I know it has totally difference looks and feels not to mention purpose. But its an option as well.

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(Login Torpong)
Trading Zone

Yes, I agree with your points...

March 7 2005, 8:36 PM 

..and my intial impression was that driving the Alphard would feel cumbersome, like driving a van, but after driving it, I think due to its front wheel drive layout combined with a low center of gravity ( its platform is actually based on the Estima) and low profile 17 inch sport tires it drives very much like a smaller minivan with little sway in cornering, though of course due to its height and weight it could not match the Elysion and Estima for agility. I have rented and driven many types of minvans while on trips abroad such as a Toyota Previa, Chevrolet Venture, Pontiac, Chrysler Town and Country, Honda Odyssey etc. and must say that the Alphard is as easy to navigate as these smaller minivans. I wanted to buy the Elysion based on its newer technology and off-beat looks but in the end decided on the Alphard 3.0 because it suited the purpose of bringing the family on long trips upcountry in comfort, and it didn't handle as badly as expected. Acceleration wise it was much faster than the 2.4 V-4 pots of the Elysion and Estima too, but its quite thirsty. I'm getting about 7.5-8 km/litres which is much better than my Range Rover at 5.0-5.5 km/litre!
I still have my sports car to drive to work so I can live with the Alphard on weekends!

Sawadi krub,


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(no login)

Just to add again!

March 7 2005, 9:04 PM 

Please excuse my forgetfulness to add some insight into your question, I think that if you don't mind the 2+3+3 layout of the Elysion in terms of getting in and out of the car etc, IMO its the better choice over the Estima as the Toyota has been around for some time (I think about 6 years) and the technology(4 speed auto should be discontinued) is aging.
They keep trying to sell them by adding useless add-ons such as aero-styling bumpers etc, though the hybrid technology is commendable, while the Honda has a 5 speed transmission, F-1 double wishbone suspension, Vtec engine and higher quality interior. Most seem to prefer the styling of the Estima as the Elysion has a slightly quirky styling but if you like the way it looks (like myself) then it is definitely the better choice.
The Lexus RX300 is a very good car as can be seen by the number of buyers but it was a rather limited front and rear visibility which is ok for some but if you have driven Land Rovers or other 4 WD's you might not like it (such as my wife). I wish they would import the Infiniti RX-45, now that is a great looking SUV!


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(no login)

Honda with Hybrid technology

March 8 2005, 12:23 AM 

I was reading the net and it seems that Honda also has Hybrid technology. Would it be possible that Honda will put it in the elysion car. What is the maintance cost to maintain the Hybrid power station? Are you getting your car from SEC?

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(no login)

I think its a matter of economics whether they will produce an Elysion hybrid

March 9 2005, 12:55 AM 

..as you probably know, Honda has 3 hybrid models in its line up, the first being the Honda Insight, then the Civic hybrid and the newest addition being the first V-6 hybrid is the Accord.
I recall that hybrid technology has been around for some time but the major players have just been recently putting out some real production cars due to the fact that some countries such as the US (especially California) have been trying to get strict with pollution by forcing car manufacturers to produce at least one actual production car (not just a concept) of an alternative fuel car if they want to sell their other cars in these respective states. It seems to have worked, albeit limited to 1-2 models per manufacturer. Toyota and Honda seem to be at the forefront, but if you notice the three models mentioned above are big sellers in the US so I'm not surprised they are producing hybrids. The Elysion is not sold in the US, so I don't think they will make a hybrid model unless their is a big enough market demand like in the US.
Toyota sells the Estima in the US (called Previa), but then again they made the Alphard Hybrid which is not sold in the US either so there's no reason why Honda could not put the hybrid v-6 in the Elysion if they wanted to.
I understand that maintanence for hybrid models would probably consist mainly of maintaining the fuel cells but to be honest I have no idea since I've never owned one. Since the battery motor is used for speeds less than 16 km/hour and during hard acceleration (contributing about 100lbs of torque) I don't see too much wear there and electric motors usually don't require much maintenance anyhow. They say the long term savings of gas should offset the initial costs eventually.
I didn't buy it from SEC, saved about 300,000 buying from someone else. If you would like advice on specific dealers just email me and I would be glad to help.


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(Login Torpong)
Trading Zone

Just to add about comparison between hybrid technology..

March 7 2005, 7:39 AM 

..and Vtec I did not compare fuel consumption between the two and technological aspects as I don't have the figures and am not qualified enough to comment about this new technology so maybe I did not answer your main concerns, but I'm sure there are others who can do much better.


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alphard, elysion, harrier

May 14 2005, 6:18 AM 

Hi, just drop in here, I'm interested in the topic. I thought that Elysion goes to the same niche as the Alphard so I thought it would be fair to compare both of them. Elysion comes with the 3.0l VCM engine that can turn off three cylinders when you're cruising and turn on these three when you need kick back. Because of this, Elysion got a better fuel consumption compared to gasoline engine Alphard. Btw, for this year, Alphard has just got a face lift and about the transmission, it uses a five speed auto. You also mentioned that you are considering the new Harrier. Btw, in few months the Hybrid Harrier is available so if you are a drive yourself type, I think the Harrier would suit you better. The Hybrid Harrier is the same as the Lexus RX400h in US, it got 268 horses, should be more than enough, Elysion got 250 horses while Alphard got 230 horses. 0-100 a lot faster than the ML350. Well, eventhough I know this is somehow a bit late, I hope it's useful.

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(Login mt88)

Review of Elysion 3L with VCM

May 17 2006, 10:37 AM 

Read the review at the url below:


Hopefully it is useful.

Drove 3L Alphard too. It is sway too much for my liking especially in high speed. It rolls like a commercial van/minibus. Alphard 3L power is so-so but extremely fuel hungry. Elysion 3L fuel consumption can be 50% better than 3L Alphard due to the Honda patented Variable Cylinder Management. The 3L VCM Elysion is actually more fuel-efficient then the 2.4L class.

I will choose Alphard if I am not the driver. It is good for middle passengers because of the high roof, but maybe problematic when it comes to tight parking.

Elysion is best to drive and give balance comfort for all passengers and driver. This is only my personal opinion after comparing Alphard and Elysion

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